The halfpipe dominator from the eastern-bloc was born in Russia before moving to Zurich with his parents as a youngster. His technique is the ideal style for the icy curved walls of the pipe. Educated at Switzerland’s first sports high school/college, he gave his teachers a schooling at the age of 18 in Davos’ very own halfpipe for the O’Neill Evolution, taking home the top spot at his first 6 Star WST event.
Interestingly I-Pod (as he’s commonly known) competed for Russia in his first Olympics in 2006, before using his dual nationality to ride for Switzerland in 2010. However he told us recently that while he feels Swiss and appreciates the superior support that the Swiss team offers, the Russians still see him very much as one of their own. When he competed in the warm up event in Sochi, apparently “it felt like having a home crowd, they went nuts!” No doubt he’ll be taking full advantage of this come the Games, and having dropped a new trick -the 1440 Yolo flip – at X Games in Tignes he’s more than capable of pulling trump cards out for the big occasions. Should Shaun White be looking over his shoulder? Quite possibly. We caught up with him Iouri earlier this year to talk about his new move.